Senate Republicans block committee hearings again

Republicans have blocked Senate committee hearings for a second consecutive day to protest moving healthcare fixes under special budget rules.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats The Hill's 12:30 Report Congress needs bipartisanship to fully investigate Russian influence MORE (D-Mich.) asked for consent to hold a hearing Wednesday afternoon but Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrOvernight Cybersecurity: House Intel votes to release Russia report | House lawmakers demand Zuckerberg testify | Senators unveil updated election cyber bill Senators introduced revised version of election cyber bill Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica | Senators grill DHS chief on election security | Omnibus to include election cyber funds | Bill would create 'bug bounty' for State MORE (R-N.C.) objected. Burr said he was acting on behalf of Republican colleagues.

Republicans have allowed some hearings to proceed, such as a Homeland Security Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Harding to head the Transportation Security Administration, but have stopped others.
Democrats blasted their GOP colleagues for obstruction, adding to the partisan tension that has built up in the upper chamber, which is traditionally known for collegiality.
“What a ridiculous notion that we’ve got to come beg the minority party so we can have a hearing on the police contracting in Afghanistan,” said Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp GOP Senate candidate slams McCaskill over Clinton ties Dems meddle against Illinois governor ahead of GOP primary MORE (D-Mo.), chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee Contracting Oversight Subcommittee.

The Republican objection derailed a Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to be a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Senate Republicans’ tactics of obstruction and delay know no limit,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).
“Senate Republicans continue their ill-advised protest of meaningful health reform legislation by exploiting parliamentary tactics and Senate rules, to the detriment of the American people and, in today’s instance, at the expense of American justice,” Leahy said.